Crypt of Curiosities: The Short Films of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani

For my money, Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are two of the best genre directors working today. Their two feature-length gialli, Amer (2009) and The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2014) are among the greatest "throwback" films of all-time, taking the vocabulary and iconography of the giallo and twisting it into something new and exciting, all while playing with the cinematic form with a barrage of close-ups, split screens, and Chris Marker-esque jump-cut slideshows. The only downside is that, as of the time of this writing, only the aforementioned gialli are available for viewing, while their latest film, Let the Corpses Tan, won’t be released stateside until this summer. So what’s a fan of hyper-stylized neo-gialli to do? Why, turn to their shorts, of course!

Like many filmmakers, Cattet and Forzani honed the aesthetic they’d use in their later films through their early shorts. Unlike all filmmakers,
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Amer – Blu-ray Review

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For those of you as yet unfamiliar with the genre the “giallo” (plural “gialli”) is a 20th Century Italian genre of literature and film that gets it name from its literal meaning (“yellow”) in reference to its origin as a series of cheap paperback novels with trademark yellow covers. From its birth back in 1963 with Mario Bava’s “The Girl Who Knew Too Much” (“La Ragazza Che Sapeva Troppo”) the genre has given birth to such colourfully monikered fare as Luciano Ercoli’s “The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion” (1970), Mario Bava’s “Twitch of the Death Nerve” (1971), Sergio Martino’s “Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have The Key” (1972) and Pupi Avati’ s “The House With Laughing Windows” (1976). Such masters of the genre as Mario Bava (and his son Lamberto), Lucio Fulci, Umberto Lenzi and Sergio Martino have delighted fans since back in the 1970′s
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